Sunday, July 03, 2022

Welcome New Computer Science Teachers

Spring is an interesting time on social media. I help moderate a couple of CS teacher groups on Facebook and let me tell you, membership is booming! Why? Well, several reasons. For one thing a lot of teachers have been voluntold that they are going to teach computer science in the fall.Some have never taught CS before. Others have some CS background but are being asked to teach a more advanced course. In general, a lot of teachers are looking for help getting ready.

Hopefully, all CS teachers join the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). There are both free and paid levels of membership. I am a paid member (AKA CSTA+) It’s worth it for the extra benefits. You’ll want to join and get active in a local CSTA chapter as well.

A book I highly recommend for anyone teaching computer science is Computer Science in K-12: An A-to-Z Handbook on Teaching Programming I can’t tell you how much I learned from this book.

Instructors are many Advanced Placement Summer Institutes are pointing teachers to Facebook groups. Two favorites for AP CS teachers are:

They're both outstanding resources for teachers of those courses.

Many people also join Computer Science Educators which is a wide ranging group for CS teachers.

Cyber Security is getting huge in schools (which is a good thing) and there is a great Facebook group for that. Cybersecurity Educators

If game development is your thing there is the Unity Teach Community group.

If you’re teaching an advanced placement course, hopefully, someone has pointed you to AP Summer Institutes. Really valuable for first time AP teachers.

There are also some curriculum providers that offer training and resources. A few of them are:

  • – they offer several levels of courses including pre-AP courses as well as AP courses.
  • CMU CS Academy – curriculum, resources, and (I think) training
  • CodeHS – Curriculum and resources
  • CYBER.ORG – Cyber security resources, training, and curriculum
  • Project Lead The Way – curriculum, training
  • Bootstrap – CS with math, physics, or Data Science

I’ll finish off with a couple of blog suggestions

  • Mark Guzdial – He’s currently doing research on teaching other subjects using computer science and what he calls “Teaspoon Languages” but he has a lot to say about how to teach CS.
  • Mike Zamansky – Mike is building a program to teach CS teachers at Hunter College in NYC. Mike shares a lot of good advice and ideas about teaching.
  • Garth Flint – Garth teaches at a small private Catholic school where he wears a lot of hats. He has some interesting takes on things and shares a lot of good ideas.

I’ve only scratched the surface here of course. But they’re a good start with places to ask for more help. Welcome to teaching computer science!

[Edit] if you are interested in using some physical devices in your course check out Teaching Computer Science–Moving atoms not pixels

1 comment:

Doug said...

That's a nice collection of resources, Alfred.

My first reaction was that this would be a great idea for a special interest group.